Suspects arrested in coastal crime spree with Tangipahoa Parish stop

HAMMOND, LA — The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office says two suspects are in custody in connection with a coastal crime spree that included stops in Loranger and Bedico.

The suspects are identified as 38-year-old James Dean Johns, Junior of Adrian, Pennsylvania, and 54-year-old Louis John Alberti of New Castle, Pennsylvania.

According to the TPSO, both men were arrested by U.S. Marshals in Pennsylvania.  They’ve been extradited to Tangipahoa Parish where they’re booked with at least 20 counts of burglary.

According to deputies, the pair traveled down the east coast from Pennsylvania and then across the gulf coast states.  Deputies say the pair committed thefts and burglaries along the way as their full-time job.

Last October, Alberti and Johns are accused of burglarizing several coin-operated vending machines at the Bedico Supermarket on Hwy. 22 and the Loranger Supermarket on Hwy. 40.  Deputies say more vending machine burglaries followed in December and January.

Deputies say the two handled most of the cases the same way.  They would rent a car and commit the machine burglaries during the midnight hours, rarely leaving behind any evidence.

The case was featured on the Wheel of Justice in January.  Deputies say they’re also working with law enforcement agencies in Mississippi, Georgia, and North Carolina.

At last word, Alberti remained behind bars on a $300,000 bond and Johns on a $450,000 bond.